Steelers vs. Vikings: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More
The Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings will entertain NFL fans across the pond in London this Sunday, and one team will fly back home with heavy hearts and an 0-4 record.
Both teams have started the 2013 season about as poorly as possible, but it's about to get worse for one of them.
Christian Ponder hasn't been impressive this season, completing just 59 percent of his passes for 691 yards with two touchdowns compared to five interceptions, which have directly led to his team's 0-3 start.
He's out of this upcoming game due to a fractured rib, however, as noted by Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Christian Ponder has a fractured rib and is out. Frazier said Ponder had CT scan on Monday. Felt too risky to play him— chipscoggins (@chipscoggins) September 27, 2013
In his stead, veteran backup Matt Cassel will line up behind center.
Ben Roethlisberger hasn't done much better, throwing four touchdowns and four interceptions, but at least he has the excuse of playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in football.
Minnesota is technically the home team in this contest, but both teams face the same challenges of playing a game in another country, thousands of miles away from the comforts of home.
Here's what you need to know about this upcoming contest.
When: Sunday, Sept. 29, at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Wembley Stadium, London, England
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 42 pts.
- Spread: Minnesota (+3)
Steelers Injury Report (via Steelers.com)
Vikings Injury Report (via Vikings.com)
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Which Team Will Win the Turnover Battle?
The team that wins the turnover battle Sunday in London will win the game.
Unfortunately, both teams have struggled with turnovers early this year. Pittsburgh has turned the ball over nine times, and Minnesota has turned the ball over 10 times.
But the Steelers have failed to force a single turnover this year, while the Vikings have forced five, meaning Pittsburgh's plus-minus is at negative nine, while Minnesota's is at negative five.
Neither number is good, but the Vikings have at least gotten some chances back when Ponder and his offensive teammates have turned the ball over.
If the Steelers have any hope of winning this game, Troy Polamalu, Jarvis Jones and Ike Taylor need to create some extra chances.
Minnesota has been close in each of its first three games, losing by an average of five points per contest.
Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has gotten progressively worse since losing to the Tennessee Titans in Week 1, losing by more than 11 points per game.
Which team will win?
The Steelers haven't even been able to pretend to run the ball to help Roethlisberger from being hounded by pass-rushers, averaging just 51.7 yards per game. Rookie Le'Veon Bell is slated to play for the first time this year, as noted by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but it'll be hard for him to make headway behind the team's horrid line.
Adrian Peterson might be frustrated by the sound front seven of the Steelers, but at least he'll be able to take some pressure off of Cassel.
As crazy as it sounds, the Steelers will be the team that falls to 0-4 after this contest.
Vikings win 24-17
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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